This brief discusses initial learning emerging from the Adaptive approaches to reducing teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone action research project. The project is accompanying three international NGOs – Concern, International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Save the Children – as they trial adaptive approaches to addressing teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone.
Partners under this action research project are trialling alternative approaches to preventing teenage pregnancy, focusing on social norms change. These components of their programmes are being managed adaptively.
Institutional context, space for reflection, and flexible operations processes (sub-granting, budgeting, recruitment) have emerged as key factors in allowing partners to work more adaptively, even across different implementation modalities.
Partners’ initial activities have focused strongly on learning about the problem and context. However, additional time and resources need to be dedicated to capacity-building, bringing on board new staff and partners, and communication.